My life is about living with nature – here you can live it with me!

Posts tagged “discovery

No Owls Yet (ugg)

foggy morning
Foggy Morning at Red House Lake

I am not banding Saw-whet Owls this weekend because I am out of town at the New York Ornithological Association conference. It should be a good birding weekend and will post more once I return (or sooner if I get some time to write/edit during the conference).

Are you willing to look closer?

Getting Too Close
Do you really want a closer look?


Rose-breasted Grosbeak Crazyness

Rose-breasted Grosbeak
Rose-breasted Grosbeak

Today I headed over to a local elementary school and did a mini banding demo for some 2nd and 3rd graders. This was a very fun day with 30+ kids who were excited about birds and I was sooo happy to catch a Rose-breasted Grosbeak for them. This is a hatch year (born this year) Rose-breasted Grosbeak who is in its basic (winter) plumage. The red/yellow on the under wing coverts is the easiest way to determine the sex of the bird. Males have red and females have the yellow on their under wing covert. I just love the berry mess on this birds bill. (more…)

Everything but Saw-whets Last Night

What an evening!

The goal of my Northern Saw-whet Owl project is catching Saw-whets! But, in order to make that happen . . . . you sometimes have a few obstacles to work around. The video above was the Barred Owl who spent a great deal of the evening vocalizing around the nets. Hello Mr. Barred Owl . . . You are not helping me!! Go fly somewhere else!! (more…)

Opening Night

White-throated Sparrow
White-throated Sparrow

Busy weekend but I was still able to get my Northern Saw-whet Owl nets up for the 2007 season. If you didn’t know . . . . for the months of October and November (with cooperative weather) I am out banding Northern Saw-whet Owls here in Allegany State Park. (more…)

BBBO Birdies

Golden-crowned Kinglet
Golden-crowned Kinglet and my thumb

This week I have been posting pictures from our “big” banding day at Braddock Bay Bird Observatory, which is located in Rochester, NY. My first two post talked about the Wood-Warblers and the Thrush species that were banded by the BBBO Staff. Today I wanted to do a post on some of the other great birds that were banded and how the staff is able to run a station like this. (more…)

BBBO Thrush

The 3 Thrushes
Hermit, Gray-cheeked and Swainson’s by Young Naturalist J

My previous post showed the amazing warbler day that we had at Braddock Bay Bird Observatory on Monday. But note that the warblers were not the only family of birds that we caught!! We had just as wonderful of a day with 4 species of thrush. (more…)

BBBO Warblers!

Magnolia Warbler

So many photos of our amazing banding day at Braddock Bay Bird Observatory . . . . I just had to split the pictures into 3 different post!! The first post is about warblers. I figured that I would look up “Warbler” in Wikipedia and they state “They are mostly brownish or dull greenish in color, of small size, easier seen than heard, and harder to determine to species. To Old World birders, “warblers” are the the archetypal “LBJ” (“little brown job”).” Must have been a non birder who wrote that . . . . warblers are easy to identify when looking at all their fieldmarks!!! (more…)

Spending the day at BBBO

Braddock Bay Bird Observatory
Braddock Bay Bird Observatory

When you find yourself completely exhausted after taking a day off from work . . . . you just know you had an awesome day!! Today, I took my banding assistant (Young Naturalist J) to our favorite migration banding station. Typically when we head off to Braddock Bay Bird Observatory, it always seems like that we had picked the day after their best day of the year (and then end up getting skunked)! But . . . . this time we hit one of their best days of the season with bird’s being caught non-stop!! Young Naturalist J had two lifers and we had a handful of birds that we don’t normally get to handle. (more…)

Pine Warbler Visit

While working on my laptop this morning . . . . I had phoebe (my cat) sitting next to me purring! She learned that if I ignore her long enough that by tapping my shoulder is enough of a reminder for me to continue petting her again (normally it works). Although our pet/owner bondage was disrupted when I had been a little too focused with the computer. As always phoebe would tap my shoulder . . . . I would ignore her and she would tap again. I said “Ok phoeobe” and as I turned around . . . . I saw this adult male Pine Warbler looking right into my window!!

Pine Warbler
Pine Warbler photo from September 2006.


Autumn Starts Tomorrow (sad face)

Along the Creek
Morning Sunlight

Summer went way to fast for me this year and hard to believe that it is autumn already. I took these pictures just yesterday along McIntosh Stream in Allegany State Park. Doesn’t it still look like summer to you?? (more…)

Enjoying My Last Days Of Summer

I shot this long video of a Ruby-throated Hummingbird yesterday morning . . . . fully anticipating that my hummingbird friends would soon be gone. As of Tuesday 3 individuals were still coming to the feeder and then I noticed on Wednesday only 1 hummingbird was feeding. I said that if it returned on Thursday morning that I would be ready to record it (before going to work). I thought with the nice weather they would stick around for a few more days but this video clip was the last time I had a chance to see her. I looked but could never find her in the evening or anytime (morning-evening) today.

I think they have finally left the area but this does not mean that a few stragglers from up north might not be seen. But those stragglers are not my morning alarm clock. I guess this just means that summer is finally over and on Sunday fall can officially begin (if I like it or not)!!

Good-bye feathered friends, see you next Spring!

Tiger Serpent of the forest

Kiss me - I don't smoke

Today we come across this yellow eyed serpent that lives in the forest. We found this guy while hiking along the North Country Trail here in Allegany State Park with a group of people (Thanks Lynn for finding him). This was my first time seeing any serpent like this before and to be honest . . . . I thought it looked just like Barney the Dinosaur (can you hear the music yet?). (more…)

Wordless Wednesday (Turkey Vulture)

Turkey Vulture
Do they watch us or do we watch them?

Migrant Waterfowl Moving Through Allegany State Park

American Coot with Canada Goose
American Coot with Canada Goose.

Today was my first sign that waterfowl started moving through the Allegany State Park area. Canada Goose have been in the area all summer long (go figure!) and the Double-crested Cormorants have been around for the past month (or two). Woodducks and Mallards . . . where did you go?? But I never expected to find this odd shaped bird swimming in Red House Lake?? . . . . YEAH!! An American Coot!! Lucky the Geese were keeping this Coot’s attention while I was trying to photograph it . . . . I got “fairly” close to it. (more…)


A Summer Millipede
A popular Millipede photo I took in 2005.

mil•li•pede (noun) or mil•le•pede
a small plant-eating arthropod with a tubular body made up of segments. Most segments have two pairs of legs. Class: Diplopoda (more…)

Northern Slimy Salamander

Northern Slimy Salamander
Northern Slimy Salamander

While out on the Conservation Trail last week, I came across a few Northern Slimy Salamanders under some logs. They are cute little salamanders but think twice before picking them up!! Their skin has a secretion that is very sticky and hard to wash off your hands!! Hello . . . that’s why they call them “slimy” salamanders!! They are identified out in the field bytheir shiny black coloring and white spots.

Visit by Nature Woman

Closed Gentian
Closed Gentian

Today Nature Woman (Pam) made a trip out to Allegany State Park to visit and do some hiking! Even though it was cold and cloudy outside . . . . we still had a fun day hiking through the park looking for many fall wildflowers to photograph. (more…)


Osprey Landing
Osprey at Quaker Lake

I get many bird questions when campers are visiting Allegany State Park. Some of those questions asked include “Where is the best place to go birding?” or “What is the rarest bird that can be found in the park?”! But the most commonly asked question “is that an Eagle nest I sw when I enter the park?”! I am always happy to say “those birds called an Osprey”! It is truly sad when these birds migrate south because I will no longer get any of these Osprey (Eagle) questions! It has been a week since I saw my last Osprey and I am starting to feel like our local birds have finally headed south. (more…)

Hide and Bird Seek

Rose-breasted Grosbeak
Rose-breasted Grosbeak

I have dishes to clean, laundry to do, cat fur to vacuum up, etc . . . . but after dinner I craved the need to find warblers! Who doesn’t have a bazillion of things to do at home?? But, I couldn’t help heading over to Allegany State Park to seek out some birdies (You shocked?). Within the first few minutes of walking along the bike path I heard a Red-Eyed Vireo calling!! The little red eyed freak wouldn’t show itself but did get a quick glimpse of a Magnolia Warbler. I finally gave up looking and continued walking along the path. “Shhhhh, their is a bigger bird in the dogwood”!! I use my bird squeaker that I keep on my camera and what pops up but a Rose-breased Grosbeak!! Hey, I have not seen these guys in a few weeks! “What Up”?? That was enough to scatter not the one but probably 10 Grosbeaks in their! Nope, make that 9 . . . . one of them is a Gray Catbird. (more…)


Does this picture look familiar?

The picture above was stolen from “Nature Knitter Blog” (Sorry Ruth)!. But there is reason for me doing so (really there is a reason)! Ok, here is the story! While catching up on everyone’s blog postings . . . . last Tuesday Ruth did a post where she said “No time for a post tonight. See you tomorrow with jelly pictures!” And of course . . . . me being the dumb ass that I am . . . . I say “send a jar my way? Hmmm”!! Then on Wednesday Ruth posted this picture of her amazing Grape Jelly that she made!!  I really do need someone to sensor what I type because I was thinking with my stomach and said “Looks like the one on the far left wasn’t filled up all the way. You really shouldn’t save that one so please feel free to send it off this way! LOL!”. O – Ruth . . . . you sure are a sweetheart!! I bet you can’t guess what ended up in my mail box this evening? (more…)

Movement South

Sun Set Along Red House Lake

Every day is feeling more like fall with a few leaves changing color and goldenrods becoming bright yellow. I only had two (maybe three) hummingbirds visiting my hummingbird feeder this morning and couldn’t find any Chimney Swifts this evening (assuming they are all gone now). During the daylight hours there was a migrant Phoebe wondering around the yard. I can’t even tell you the last time I saw an Eastern Phoebe in my neighborhood. As much as I hate to admit it . . . . fall is here and migrants are moving south in full force. (more…)

Chimney Swifts in Allegany State Park

Chimney Swift
Chimney Swift

One of my joys of being around Allegany State Park is watching the Chimney Swifts entering chimneys around the Administration Building during dusk hours. These unique birds look almost like flying cigars and are remarkable fliers. You typically hear them chattering before you ever get a chance to see them. Chimney Swifts are constantly flying throughout the day in search of food and can travel long distances. They will roost and nest in chimneys and are historically known to use the hollow trees in the forest for nesting. I sometimes wonder if they are not still doing this in some areas. (more…)

Visiting My Neighbors Spider

Garden Spider
Writing Spider

The past week I have found every reason in the book to head over to my neighbor’s house to chat. First day was to discuss how his holiday went . . . . second day was to talk about work things . . . . third day was about the Yankee game that I could hear in the background . . . . ect . . . . but the truth is that all I really wanted to do is to check how his Garden Spider was doing! (is that bad??) These are without a doubt my all time favorite spiders!! (more…)